Goose Island Beer Co.
While now ubiquitous, bourbon barrel-aged beers were an extreme rarity when Goose Island Beer Company began producing them in the mid-1990s. The Bourbon County Brand Stout -- a high-ABV, deeply colored, sweet, and rich beer -- was conceived as a celebration of the 1,000th batch of beer brewed in Goose's original brew pub. The experiment wasn't an instant hit, but has grown into a phenomenon.
Over the past few years, Black Friday has become the release date for Goose Island's current iteration of Bourbon County Brand barrel aged beers. In 2017, we'll get to enjoy six different beers, including the basic stout, coffee, barleywine, Northwoods (new for this year), Proprietor's, and a special edition aged in 11-year-old Knob Creek barrels. (The two latter beers will only be released in Chicago, while the Knob Creek beer will see a limited release in Kentucky, too.)
We sat down with Bill Savage, head of the barrel aging program, to learn more about how this style of beer is produced.
Note: Goose Island Beer Co. is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.